I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him... –Psalm 91:15
The Fourth Promise - to rescue from trouble those who love the Lord—is found in the middle of verse 15. It is a well-known fact that human nature cries out to God when faced with trouble. Men in prison, soldiers in war, people in accidents... all seem to call out to God when they get in a crisis. Even atheists are known to call on the God they don’t acknowledge when they are extremely afraid. A lot of criticism has been given to those last resort prayers. However, in defense of this kind of praying, we must remember that when one is in pain, he usually runs to the one he loves the most and the one he trusts. The alternative is not calling out at all, so this verse acknowledges that calling out to God when we are in trouble is a good place to start.
If a person has never felt danger, he never thinks about needing protection. It is the one that knows he is in imminent danger who will appreciate and take the words of this psalm to heart. God has a great deal of variety in His plentiful means of protection and modes of rescue from trouble. This verse also reminds me of a story that I read about a U.S. Senator during the pre-Civil War days. The Senator had taken his son to the slave market where the boy noticed an African American mother crying and praying as they were preparing to sell her daughter on the slave block. As he walked closer, he overheard the mother crying out, “Oh, God, if I could help You as easily as You could help me, I’d do it for You, Lord.” The young man was so touched by the prayer that he went over and bought the girl off the slave block and gave her back to her mother.
God answers our prayers and rescues us in so many different ways. I am so thankful that He is creative and not limited by our seemingly impossible situations. But, we have to ask in faith and not confine Him to our limited resources. God says, “If you love Me, I will be with you when you find yourself in trouble, and I will rescue you.” But we have to trust Him to do it His way.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
I read a story several years ago about a woman who had a son in a war zone in World War II, and she wrote out Psalm 91 and sent it to him—explaining that those promises in Psalm 91 would be his protection. The son took it to his commanding officer who assigned his whole outfit to read the entire psalm out loud together every morning. She said that when the war was over—this was the only outfit she knew of in the war zone that reportedly had not one casualty.
Our son, Bill saw the rescuing power of God when he found himself in serious trouble after attempting to swim across a lake that was much wider than he calculated. With no strength left in his body and having already gone under twice, Bill experienced all the sensations of drowning. But miraculously, God not only provided a woman on the opposite bank, which was previously deserted, but also enabled her to throw a life ring (that just happened to be nearby) over 30 yards, landing within inches of his almost lifeless body. That was certainly Bill’s day of trouble, but I thank God that He was with Bill, and rescued him.
Although some people might call happenings like these a coincidence, the negative situations that we encounter can become God-incidences when we trust His Word.
-Peggy Joyce Ruth
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